English Like?

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Wed May 24 17:57:50 CEST 2017

On 5/24/17 6:19 pm, prothero--- via use-livecode wrote:
> Ok,ok, I hear y'all about the approachability of the htalk language. I do know that when we get familiar with an intellectual construct, we tend to give validity to information or attitudes that agree with that construct. Confirmation bias seemed to be a huge factor in news "facts" acceptance in the recent US election, as well.
> As to the subject at hand, experienced programmers are going to favor constructs they are already familiar with.

Yup: but that is has no more objective validity than people from the 
British Isles favoUring different spelling conventions.

Whether someone spells the word "quha" or "who" is, ultimately neither 
here nor there. If I were ti hire a computer programmer to do a job
I would be concerned whether that programmer could produce a finished 
product for me that looked and functioned the way I wanted
it to: I really wouldn't give a tuppeny toss which language/development 
environment s/he used to achieve that.

>   It will not be possible to settle the question of whether using x=3 or put 3 into x is more logical using this audience. In addition, the question is ill-posed.
This question is about a matter of taste, not logic, and those who think 
that it refers to logic are unaware of how they have let
themselves be lulled into accepting one way of doing things as "the 
logical way".

> One question is whether programmers experienced in other high level languages would find livecode an attractive option for their work.

Probably most of those programmers (like many well-established LiveCode 
programmers) have invested so much time and effort
in learning the high level language(s) they already use that they are 
unlikely to switch.

> Or conversely, would people new to coding find htalk easy and intuitive?

 From a marketing point of view I believe that this question is more 
pressing than the other one, just because people new to coding have not 
got stuck in the groove of a particulalr programming language.

The other day I revived my BBC Master Compact that I bought in 1989 and 
started doing some programming on it and was both surprised and 
enlightened that I took quite some time to get up to speed after some 27 
years not touching BBC BASIC.

Surprised because I had not realised how much the "LiveCode way" had 
permeated my way of doing things.

Enlightened because I began to remember what life was like before 
HyperCard, Graphic User Interfaces and all the stuff we now all
too readily take for granted with computers.

I'm trying to get a FORTRAN IV ROM chip to install in my BBC . . . .
>   These are two different questions and a rigorous answer will most likely not come from knowledgeable livecode programmers. No insult is intended, as I accept that I am guilty of the same bias.
> In my humble opinion, the proof is in the pudding.

Indeed: and different people like different puddings.

What does need to be born in mind is that most of LiveCode's installed 
user-base like their pudding the way LiveCode serves,
and changing the recipe to attract other people might only serve to 
alienate current users rather than attarct others;
probably not worth the risk.

For those who like salt in their porridge there's LiveCode, and for 
those who prefer sugar, or syrup, or prunes in their porridge
there are other puddings on offer.

When I started my EFL school in Bulgaria 12 years ago I was "up against" 
4 major 'factory' EFL schools, and people were telling me all sorts
of "good" advice as to how I should drive them out of business and 
become "Mr English" in the town. I didn't listen.

My school now runs at exactly the size I want it to; those 'factories' 
still run. Nobody, as far as I can tell, feels threatened by my operation,
and I don't feel threatened by them. This is because, although we all 
"sell" English as a Foreign Language, we do it in different ways; and
the children who come to my school are quite unlike those who go to the 
other ones (which suits me 100%). There is room in the
multiverse of EFL for a variety of products.

>   What can I build with this application and how easy will it be to build what I want? I may prefer other syntaxes, but what the heck?

Well, there are probably nearly as many variables to be weighed up as 
there are potential LiveCode programmers; here's one more:

1. Can I afford the necessary time needed to get reasonably competent at 
programming in LiveCode and will that be justifiable
    when I can develop my next-big-thing in language X that I already know?

>   As long as I can find what I need to make what I want, and have this fantastic array of users who help me out, I'm a very happy camper. So, for a bottom line, I really don't give a hoot about the "put 3 into x" syntax as long as I can build what I want. My initial posting was to comment that a LOT of the syntax for important operations is neither English-like, nor intuitive.

No: a lot of the syntax isn't English-like, and the claims that have 
been flying around about that ever since HyperCard seem almost
as crook as the "programming is easy" porky.

"Intuitive" . . . ha, ha, ha. Human languages are not intuitive: 
otherwise we'd all be learning a new language every 3 or 4 weeks
and the Tower of Babel wouldn't look like Trump Tower!
> The reason I moved to Livecode was its capabilities, multiple platform deployment, but mostly the potential of the development team and the dynamic way they are improving the product and keeping up as technology continues to evolve. The refactoring of a very mature code base was a very positive development, in my view. The responsiveness and engagement of the development team is another huge positive for me.

The reason I moved to HyperCard was that was what came installed on the 
Macintosh LC 475 that I bought in Montgomery Ward in 1993.

The reason I moved to LiveCode was that, after getting badly 
side-tracked with ToolBook and MacroMedia Director, I discovered MetaCard
by accident and then found that the interface provided by Revolution was 
more to my taste.
> One of the sayings among academic departments is that "the battles are so fierce because the stakes are so small". The discussion is fun and interesting, but ....... maybe less important.
> Off to breakfast on a foggy Santa Barbara morning.

Hope that's fog and not smog!


> Best,
> Bill P
> William Prothero
> http://es.earthednet.org
>> On May 24, 2017, at 7:13 AM, Mike Kerner via use-livecode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>> That is certainly true.  The approachability of the language is the hook
>> that got me hooked, even though HC was my...8th?  9th?  15th? language.
>> For beginners, we should be asking what else we can do to make their life
>> easier.  Community is free and it gets you in, but you can't build even the
>> simplest ios app without paying apple and then fighting through all of the
>> other things you have to do to get the app built and on your device just so
>> you can play with it.  That would be a nifty service to provide for
>> learning.  The n00b would have to upload their stack, and the ID of the one
>> device they want to mess with it on.  Hmm......
>> On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM, dunbarx via use-livecode <
>> use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:
>>> There is a far more important issue here. New learners are far more likely
>>> to
>>> be coaxed into continuing to spend the time and effort, and to put away
>>> their fears, if they see and use "put x into y". It is why we have stacks
>>> and cards, and in the olden days, rolodexes. The original HC team did all
>>> that on purpose.
>>> Remember "for the rest of us"?
>>> Experienced users are being academic and pedantic to raise this issue as if
>>> it were something important. We need new users, not old ones.
>>> No offense, please.
>>> Craig Newman
>>> --
>>> View this message in context: http://runtime-revolution.2783
>>> 05.n4.nabble.com/English-Like-tp4714951p4715143.html
>>> Sent from the Revolution - User mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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>> -- 
>> On the first day, God created the heavens and the Earth
>> On the second day, God created the oceans.
>> On the third day, God put the animals on hold for a few hours,
>>    and did a little diving.
>> And God said, "This is good."
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